Manitoba

2 Winnipeg nursing homes confirm COVID-19 cases as worker, resident test positive

Two Winnipeg nursing homes have reported COVID-19 cases, including one where a worker has tested positive for the illness and another where a patient became infected.

News comes after case of coronavirus at Gimli personal care home announced Thursday

The nursing home said the worker's last day on the job was last Monday. (Roger Cosman/CBC)

Two Winnipeg nursing homes have reported COVID-19 cases, including one where a worker has tested positive for the illness and another where a patient became infected.

In a statement posted online, the CEO of Actionmarguerite — a care home in the city's St. Vital area for francophone seniors requiring personal and long-term care services — confirmed a worker there had tested positive.

And on Friday afternoon, management at the Poseidon Care Centre in River Heights announced a patient there tested positive for COVID-19. That resident is currently in hospital.

Actionmarguerite CEO Charles Gagné said in the online statement the worker's last day on the job was Monday, March 30. He said the worker was not a direct care provider to residents.

The CEO said Friday he would be contacting families of seniors in the home, as the facility does contact tracing of residents and staff who may have been in contact with the employee. 

"It was a sure shock to myself reading that email, to my brother and sister also and to my father," Marc Roy, whose mother lives in the home, told Radio-Canada Friday. He added his mom lives with asthma and Parkinson's.

Gagné said the home is taking a number of measures to stop the spread of the virus, including asking residents to remain in their rooms, enforcing physical distancing during meals and suspending recreational activities.

Top doc not aware of case

Staff who are in contact with residents will also be wearing protective gear, he said.

"This is incredibly unsettling news for the residents and their loved ones as well as for staff. Please be assured that we have moved quickly to enact all the precautions that will prevent any further spread of illness."

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba's chief public health officer, and Lanette Siragusa, provincial lead, health system integration, quality/chief nursing officer for Shared Health, speak during the province's latest COVID-19 update at the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg on March 24. (John Woods/The Canadian Press)

Manitoba's chief public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, said he was unaware of the St. Vital case at a news conference Friday afternoon. 

"I haven't received a report of that nature. The typical process would be a staffer may or may not have tested positive, then we look to see if that staff member had been in the place of work during the infectious period and then only then would we be concerned about communicating with it," Roussin said.


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On Thursday, the province confirmed a worker at Gimli's Betel retirement home had tested positive for the virus.

Testing residents in Gimli personal care home 

Nine residents were sick with respiratory symptoms at the home in the Interlake town, provincial chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said Thursday. He said Friday seven of the nine residents' tests have come back negative for COVID-19.

Health officials also confirmed Thursday a patient at the Riverview Health Centre in Winnipeg had tested positive for COVID-19.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said there is no outbreak at the centre, which provides long-term and palliative care, and the province said the patient was not a resident of the facility's personal care home.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

​Austin Grabish joined CBC in 2016 after freelancing for several outlets. ​​In 2018, he was part of a team of CBC journalists who won the Ron Laidlaw Award for the corporation's extensive digital coverage on asylum seekers crossing into Canada. In 2019, he was on the ground in northern Manitoba covering the manhunt for B.C. fugitives Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod, which attracted international attention. Have a story idea? Email: austin.grabish@cbc.ca

With files from Aidan Geary, Ezra Belotte-Cousineau and Vera-Lynn Kubinec

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